Do you know the best way to prepare for a claim after buying homeowner insurance? Homeowners insurance is essential. Not just because it safeguards your property. Most mortgage companies won’t lend or finance a residential real estate transaction without proof of insurance for the property’s full or fair value (usually the purchase price).

Homeownership can bring surprises, from a tree trunk falling on your bedroom wall to a burst kitchen drain. Knowing what to expect with a homeowner’s claim can help you relax since you can’t prevent all surprises.

The basics of Insurance claims

In case of home damage,

  • Get home access. Even if only one room is damaged, wait for emergency personnel or local government officials to let you back in.
  • Prepare your data. When filing a claim, you will be asked for your name, contact information, policy information, the type of loss, the date of the loss, and a description of the loss and any injuries. You will need to keep your home inventory handy. 
  • Buy tarps to repair roof holes and keep the receipts. 

Preparations for filing an insurance homeowner claim 

Home insurance provides peace of mind in an emergency, but filing a claim takes a lot of details. After a natural disaster or break-in, organizing and preparing your information simplifies the claim procedure and reduces stress. Find the correct professionals and document your home’s condition and belongings to prepare for claims.

  1. Public Adjuster Services

Insurance adjusters may visit for free. A public adjuster can assess your home for a fee. When your home is severely damaged or destroyed, a public adjuster can file and pursue a claim for you, which is worth the extra expense. Find a public adjuster recommended by your insurance company or lawyer before a natural disaster since those who contact you afterward may not be as good.

  1. Trustworthy Contractors

Finding a reliable contractor while filing an insurance claim is stressful. Hire a local contractor for minor maintenance and repairs before anything happens. Once you’ve created a strong reputation with a company, you’ll quickly know whom to call for a fair estimate and speedy response when your home insurance provider processes your claim.

  1. Your Coverage

Review your house insurance coverage to understand what’s covered and what’s not. Only file claims your insurer will likely approve to avoid raising your premiums for non-covered damage.

  1. Home Inventory

Create a house inventory to ensure the insurance provider covers all fire- or theft-damaged items. Home inventory apps gather photos, receipts, and other information about your possessions’ value and purchase date. Include images of your home’s condition and layout to demonstrate fire or natural disaster damage.

Filing an insurance claim takes much less labor with these preparations in place.

How to start the Claim Process

  1. Report your claim. The earlier you report a claim the better the response from the insurer.
  2. Inspecting the damage. The claim professional usually will call you to explain what happened and whether or not the damage will be covered by your insurance, and schedule a time to visit the loss site for inspection.
  3. Document your losses. Photos and videos help you recall lost items. Find pictures of damaged areas if you don’t have an inventory. 
  4. Keep receipts. Save receipts for temporary repairs, housing, and property protection. Your insurer may require them for a claim.

How to Make a Move After a Loss

Uselessness. After a covered loss, your homeowners’ policy may cover temporary housing, car rentals, and other living expenses. Your carrier may recommend you to a service provider or let you remain at a hotel or rental property while your home is restored following a covered loss.

How to get Settlement After a Loss

Timeframes vary. Claim resolution times vary by loss and insurer. A claim professional’s damage assessment and loss information will decide settlement timing.

Payment. If the claim professional decides that your policy covers the loss, you will get a check or bank transfer for the estimated damage amount immediately or soon.

After getting homeowner’s insurance, you know how to prepare for a claim. This is the most appropriate time for you to make an informed decision.